Over 140 Practitioners Persecuted in Tangshan City in 2012
(Minghui.org) At least 140 practitioners in Tangshan City were illegally arrested in 2012. Among them, 19 were imprisoned, 52 put in detention centers, and 10 sent to forced labor camps. At this time, 36 are still being held in detention centers. After learning the facts, many people have begun to support Falun Gong and making their voices heard.
Ms. Li Shanshan
Ms. Li Shanshan is a Falun Gong practitioner from the Fengrun District in Tangshan City. Because she appealed for her fiancé, Mr. Zhou Xiangyang, she was sent to a forced labor camp in 2004 to serve a term of 15 months. She wrote an open letter entitled, “A Young Couple's Journey: Zhou Xiangyang's Fiancee Appeals Seven Years for His Release” (http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2011/6/26/126261.html ). About 2300 people signed the letter to help rescue Mr. Zhou.
When Ms. Li was sent to a forced labor camp again in 2011 for seeking to rescue her husband, Mr. Zhou Xiangyang, within one month 528 people had signed their names calling for her release. The number of signatures has now exceeded 2000.
One middle-aged man said, “Mr. Zhou's wife wrote so well that I have read the letter many times—I've almost memorized it. My entire family signed the petition to rescue him!” A middle-aged woman announced in public, “My whole village practices Falun Gong. We are honest and upstanding, and my entire family signed the petition.” A couple in their 60s said, “We signed it, because Falun Gong practitioners are all good people.” Some villagers asked those nearby to sign the petition, too.
A gentleman in his 50s said, “I was in tears when I read this letter. The communist regime is really terrible to torture good people so brutally.” A lady said angrily, “The government was wrong. How can they mistreat good people and not punish the corrupt officials? We all signed our names calling for Mr. Zhou's release. Many of us were in tears at the letter—the practitioners were tortured so much for their belief in Falun Gong. The Party is indeed vicious.” Even when the police threatened the village residents who signed their names, one village resident said, “Yes, we signed the letter to rescue Mr. Zhou. How can you not support this? Even the village Party head should agree with this by affixing the government seal to it.”
With strong support from both inside China and overseas, Mr. Zhou was released early. But the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials would not let up and sent his wife, Ms. Li, to a forced labor camp. Mr. Zhou has now begun an effort to rescue his wife.
528 signatures supporting Ms. Li Shanshan's release
7000 Signatures Asking for the Release of Honest Merchant Mr. Zheng Xiangxing Stuns High-level CCP Officials
From the 300 signatures in Botou City, the 562 signatures in Tangshan City, and the 700 signatures in Shijiangzhuang City to the 15,000 signatures in Heilongjiang Province, people are showing courageous support for Falun Gong and their willingness to help stop the persecution.
According to Mr. Zheng Xiangxing’s wife, Ms. Sun Suyun, Mr. Zheng used to be a small-minded person who often fought. When the police stopped him for an expired driver's license in 2001, he fought with them and was detained for two weeks. A Falun Gong practitioner was detained in Mr. Zheng's cell. Mr. Zheng observed the practitioner's kind behavior and became interested in practicing. After returning home, he started to read Zhuan Falun. Not only did his temper improve, he also advised his friends to no longer fight. When they saw how he improved, they also changed.
Mr. Zheng was arrested by local police on February 25, 2012. On May 29, Tanghai County Court sentenced him to ten years in prison, even though the prosecutors did not respond to the defense delivered by Mr. Zheng's two lawyers. He was sent to Baoding Prison on August 8. Mr. Zheng had a brain hemorrhage in prison on October 26 and was sent to the First Central Hospital in Baoding the next day. He was operated on twice, and a portion of his brain was removed. After the hospital ran several CT scans, it was believed that the majority of his brain cells were dead, but then Mr. Zheng miraculously woke up. It was reported that Baoding Prison officials stated, “Everything would have been easier if Zheng Xiangxing had died.” Not long after, it was learned that the prison officials planned to transfer Mr. Zheng to a prison hospital even though he was still in critical condition.
After learning about Mr. Zheng’s mistreatment at the hands of the CCP, many people became upset and volunteered their support. They wrote letters to the local court three times, asking for Mr. Zheng's release on medical bail. 562 people signed it. In August, over 3,000 people from the surrounding 20 towns in four counties signed a petition calling for the unconditional release of Mr. Zheng. Most recently, several thousand people have signed a petition asking for Mr. Zheng's release, as well as for the responsible parties to be brought to justice.
When news got out that Mr. Zheng was being tortured and was in critical condition, over 1200 people from eight townships, and towns in two counties in Tangshan and Qinhuangdao City added their names to the petition calling for his release. One young woman even used her blood to leave her fingerprint when the ink ran out. A farm worker in his 50s said, “The CCP is extremely bad. I'll sign it.” A couple learned the facts about Falun Gong when people were collecting signatures for the petition. The husband, a retired government employee, said, “The CCP should have been dissolved a long time ago.” Both of them withdrew from the CCP organizations, signed the petition, and gave their fingerprints.
As of December 15, another 4,011 citizens from Tangshan and the surrounding areas had signed the petition demanding Mr. Zheng's release, including government officials, students, and farmers. Some had tears in their eyes when they signed and expressed indignation at the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. Others asked in disbelief why Mr. Zheng had not been released. In one county, 809 citizens wrote a “Citizens' Opinion and Goal” and asked for Mr. Zheng's immediate release.
Police Attempt to Arrest a Hero Who Saved Someone’s Life; Hundreds of People Stand Up to Stop It
A dozen police officers broke into Mr. Li Zhen's home early on June 9, 2012, and dragged him downstairs. Mr. Li's wife, Ms. Wang Xiulan, opened a window and called for their neighbors. Residents heard her cry and came. When they saw Mr. Li being taken away, they objected and condemned the officers. They formed a human wall to prevent them from taking Mr. Li away.
The residents told the officers that someone fell into the Qianquzhuang River in the summer of 2010. There were many bystanders, but none offered to help. Mr. Li happened to be passing by and immediately jumped into the deep water without even taking off his clothes. He pulled the victim to the bank and left quietly without leaving his name.
The residents challenged the police, “How many of you would have done what he did?” “Mr. Li is a good person with a good reputation. Why are you arresting him?” They said angrily, “If everyone were as good as he, there would be no need for the police. But you are arresting him. You shouldn't do that.”
Many cried as they watched the officers handcuff and shove the barefoot, shirtless Mr. Li into a police car. An older lady held an officer in front of the car and said in tears, “Such a good person. Are you really going to take him away?”
The officers were silent. They grabbed Mr. Li's neck and forced him into the car. People were upset by the officer's violence. Some punched the officers. Mr. Li's son lived nearby. He rushed to the scene when he heard what was happening. The officers even tried to arrest him. One resident could not take it any longer and was about to run up to the police with a shovel, but others stopped him.
Another police car came after 8:00 a.m. A police supervisor wearing a checked vest got out of the car and berated the officers in a low voice, “You good-for-nothings. I told you to come earlier and do it quietly. Why did you make it such a big deal? You've given us a bad image.”
The standoff between the residents and the police lasted nearly two hours. In the end, the police took Mr. Li away. Indignant, the residents watched them leave.
They hung around and expressed their disappointment. Someone suggested, “Does anyone have a pen and a piece of paper? We will write a joint appeal for Mr. Li.” The crowd immediately approved the suggestion. Someone brought a piece of paper, a pen, and an ink pad. More than 70 people signed and placed their fingerprints on the appeal.
A neighbor said, “Mr. Li is a really good person. He helps whenever and whoever needs help. He is in trouble. We shouldn't just think about ourselves. We think that he is a good person.” Another neighbor said, “I'd dare to say that to whoever interviewed me.”
Due to public pressure, the Tangshan City Political and Legal Affairs Committee soon released Mr. Li Zhen.
Over 1800 Signatures Calling for the Release of Two Elderly Ladies in Tangshan: They Are Good People
Ms. Zhang Mingfeng and Ms. Zhang Guizhi, both from Tangshan City in Hebei Province and in their 60s, were sentenced to three and four-year prison terms, respectively, on August 20, 2012. They are now in Shijiazhuang Women's Prison. After 404 people put their fingerprints on a petition to free them, another 1,485 added their signatures, for a total of 1,889 supporters.
When many people in the Tangshan District learned that two elderly ladies had been sentenced for their belief in Falun Gong, they participated in an appeal to show their support for the release of these good citizens. They also expressed their anger over the brutal acts of the communist regime and commended Falun Gong practitioners. Those who knew the two imprisoned practitioners said, “Dafa is good. We all know Ms. Zhang Mingfeng very well. She is such a good person and is always happy to assist others. Someone that good is hard to find these days. We support justice and Ms. Zhang. We want to make sure that she is released.”
One of those who signed the petition said, “If everyone conducts themselves according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, like Falun Gong practitioners, then there would be order in society. It is shameful that good people are being arrested, truly terrible.” Another said, “If this will secure the release of these two kind people, then I would like to sign the petition. It is a good deed. We support Dafa disciples.” Some who had signed earlier asked if the practitioners had been released yet.
Judge Who Abused the Law Sued
Xu Tianpeng, about 50, is the chief judge of Fengrun District Court in Tangshan City. He illegally sentenced many practitioners over the past few years. He often said, “We can hold trials without notifying [the defendant’s] family” “If you disagree with me here, you can go to the U.S. to make your points,” and, “If you continue talking like this, you will be removed.” At least four family members of practitioners have sued him due to the tremendous harm Xu brought to practitioners and their families.